Company paid workers in beer

A business which failed to pay its employees the minimum wage and chose to pay workers in beer on Saturdays has been ordered to pay a former employee more than $12,000.

SN Windows and Doors Ltd in Auckland hired Kinikinilau Uasike in January 2013.

For six months, Mr Uasike was paid less than the minimum wage for his work as a joiner for the company.

He was dismissed when he was told there was no more work available for him, and he was handed $80.

He took his claim of unfair dismissal and pay arrears to the Employment Relations Authority.

Authority member Rachel Larmer said in her determination that it was obvious SN Windows and Doors Ltd had not kept accurate wage and time records, and even paid some staff with "a few beers" when they worked on Saturdays.

"This forms a picture of an employer that is not observing the statutory requirements which apply to all employers in New Zealand," she said in the determination.

Mr Uasike was paid nearly $5000 less than the minimum wage by the time he was dismissed.

The authority found SN Windows and Doors Ltd couldn't justify the dismissal of Mr Uasike, and were ordered to pay him $12,360.25 for the unfair dismissal and pay arrears accumulated over the six months he worked for the company.

- Sophie Ryan of APNZ

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